Archive for November, 2010

Small but mighty improvements to managing files from the web

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Sometimes it’s the little things that can make a big difference. We think that’s the case with the following improvements we made to the Ubuntu One files management web interface:Stop syncing folder via web UI

Stop syncing folders. Do you have a folder you selected to sync with Ubuntu One but don’t want to anymore? Click the “More” link next to the folder and then click the new “Stop syncing this folder” link. Your folder will no longer sync with Ubuntu One while leaving the folder untouched on your computers.

Upload and publish files. Publishing files with Ubuntu One is a nice feature. Even nicer is being able to upload and publish a file at the same time. No more uploading, finding the uploaded file, clicking the “More” link, clicking the “Publish” link, then clicking the “More” link again, and…you get the idea. We made this much simpler. Now you click the “Upload file” link to select your file and tick to publish it all in one go.
Upload and publish a file via the Ubuntu One web UI

Along with adding the ability to upload and publish in one step, we made uploading files better. After you’ve successfully uploaded a file, you’ll be taken to that file in the list with the details expanded. That way you don’t have to hunt for the file you just uploaded. Upload file in Ubuntu One web UI

Stop receiving a share. If you no longer want to receive files from a folder someone shared with you, click on the “More” link and then click “Delete this share”. The folder and its files will still be on your computers but you won’t receive any new files. Delete a folder someone is sharing with you

These small improvements are the first of several more that are part of an overhaul of the entire web UI for files, notes, contacts, and bookmarks (yes, bookmarks). More on the overhaul later.

So let there be Windows…

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Ok, we’ve made the jump. An Ubuntu-branded experience on Windows. Can you believe it?

With the Maverick release, we’re finally delivering a service that gives you a flavor of our broader personal cloud strategy. As we strive to introduce security, control and convenience around the different facets of your digital world, we will be evolving in a number of areas:

    • > Platform ubiquity (Ubuntu, Web and now a Windows Beta) on basic synchronization services and breadth of content synced (Files, Contacts, Bookmarks and Notes are already available)
    • > Services that let you do more with that content (our cloud to mobile music streaming service for Android and iPhone is a first example)
    • > The integration of third party services (like the 7digital music store)

We’re ready to take the next step toward serving the needs of those ‘legacy’ OS users by accepting requests to join the public beta of Ubuntu One for Windows. Expanding to Windows is actually a fantastic thing for Ubuntu users. There are many of you out there that use Ubuntu at home and Windows, for example, at work. This platform expansion will make it easier to integrate Ubuntu into more aspects of your digital world.

For our first release of Ubuntu One for Windows, we decided to start small, with a target of delivering a commercial grade and a more comprehensive offering for Natty in April 2011. Our first Beta release synchronizes files between your Windows computer, your Ubuntu One personal cloud and your Ubuntu computer(s). Please review our wiki page for feature updates to our beta Windows service.

Update: The Windows beta installer is now available for everyone

Ask Ubuntu

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

The Ubuntu One team has been working hard to improve support of late. We initially focused on our status page, FAQs, and contacting Ubuntu One support directly. All of those areas have gone through several iterations and are continuing to evolve. One part of the support equation we’ve been missing is a definitive place to get help from other Ubuntu One users. Ask Ubuntu is the place to go for this type of community support.

Ask Ubuntu logoTo steal a line from the FAQ, Ask Ubuntu is a Q&A site designed to make it easy for users to get answers to Ubuntu-related questions. It’s easy to get started asking and answering questions. You can use an OpenID login like a Launchpad or Google account, or other options like Facebook, etc. to login to the site. For Ubuntu One related questions, use the ubuntu-one tag. Once you receive an answer you’re satisfied with, mark it as the accepted answer by clicking on the check box outline to the left of the answer.

Beyond asking and answering questions, you can also vote (up or down) questions and answers others have provided. Votes go towards a person’s reputation on the site. For example, if you answer a question and someone votes your answer up, you’ll gain +10. If someone votes up your question, you’ll gain +5. That’s right, good questions go towards building your reputation. For more info on reputation and Ask Ubuntu in general, check out the Ask Ubuntu FAQ.

Some Ubuntu One questions can’t be answered on Ask Ubuntu. These include questions specific to your account (billing, login, etc.) or those that require details about specific content not syncing properly. For example, my file “~/Pictures/Joshua on mongoose hunt.jpg” won’t sync. Questions like these require private information to be exchanged and should be asked via the Ubuntu One contact form.

In general, when looking for Ubuntu One support, you’ll want to consider the following options, in this order:

  1. Status page – There may be a service disruption causing the problem you’re having.
  2. FAQs – We continue to build and groom a list of frequently asked questions that may provide the answer to the question you have.
  3. Ask Ubuntu – If your question is not account related and doesn’t appear to need specifics on your content (file names, contacts, etc.), ask the community for help.
  4. Contact form – If your question is account related or you have specific issues with your content (particular files or contacts not syncing, etc) then contact us directly for support.

We’re excited about Ask Ubuntu. It only takes a minute or so to sign up and start using the site, so please do! See you there.